Blacklands Turnpike
3:03 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Public meeting on Blacklands tonight in Lavon

People from the Dallas area and Northeast Texas will get a chance this evening to learn more about a proposed toll road that would be built between Greenville and Lavon. 

The North Central Texas Council Of Governments will host a public meeting July 25 in the cafeteria of Phyllis NeSmith Elementary School, 801 Presidents Blvd. in Lavon.

An open house is set for 6 p.m., followed by a presentation and public comments at 6:30 p.m. and follow-up open house at 7:30 p.m.

Residents, elected officials, business leaders and anyone interested in the Blacklands Corridor is being invited to the event, which will focus on the upcoming feasibility study to evaluate the area's transportation needs.

Staff from the Council of Governments' transportation department will to be on hand to seek input from the public about transportation priorities in the area.

Dallas-based Public Werks, Inc., is behind what has most recently been identified as the proposal to build a privately owned toll road covering about 24 miles from just west of Greenville to Lavon in southeastern Collin County, along a portion of the Northeast Texas Rural Rail Transportation District right-of-way. The company iwants to build a limited access four lane divided toll road in and along the right-of-way.

The measure has been met with opposition from many of the residents along the proposed route of the road, although other interests, including many from the Greenville business community, favor the project.

In June, the Regional Transportation Council directed Council of Governments staff to undertake a Corridor Feasibility Study of the Blacklands Corridor. The study is expected to take approximately 12-18 months to complete. 

The Blacklands Corridor is the part of the Northeast Texas Rural Rail Transportation District right-of-way that no longer has rail lines. The rail district has expressed a desire to rebuild the line from Greenville to Lavon and says that the turnpike project is compatible with a restoration of rail service along the right-of-way.